The San Diego Padres continue to play head-scratching baseball.
They continually give games away, despite playing well for most of the contest. The team is young, and it is normal to expect sporadic moments of failure.
However, they must play sound, fundamental baseball if they wish to keep their heads above water. The starting staff isn’t filled with household names, so if one of them gets you a quality start, then as a team, you must deliver the victory for him. Seeing Jered Weaver lose a chance at his first win in a Padres’ uniform on Sunday was rough.
Making errors, both on the field and with judgement, only make things more difficult for a young team looking for an identity.
The fan base should not expect a miracle with this team in terms of wins and losses, but there has to be a steady increase in quality of play as the season progresses. As a young team, they must improve daily and weekly. The fundamentals of the game must be adhered to, and the growth of the team must be evident by all in the game of baseball.
If the Padres franchise is to be recognized instead of ignored, then things need to change. It starts with the play on the field and being accountable for your actions.
Game 1 (Padres 6, White Sox 3)
The Padres opened the three-game set with a victory as Jhoulys Chacin held the Sox to three runs on seven hits through 6.1 innings. The Venezuelan right-handed pitcher was able to keep the Sox hitters off balance, as he struck out five batters on the night. Matt Szczur started the night off right for the Padres as he took Miguel Gonzalez‘s first pitch into the left field stands.
Szczur has started his Padre career in style, but the hitting hero on the night was Austin Hedges, who went 2 for 4 and drove in three runs. Hedges recorded a home run and a double, both off of Gonzalez, and he is really starting to swing the bat well. Brandon Maurer recorded the save, pitching the ninth for the Friars. A night after his implosion in Texas, it was nice to see Maurer come back with no fear and get the job done for the Friars.
Game 2 (White Sox 5, Padres 4)
The night started off great as Manuel Margot took the first pitch of the ball game and drove it down the right field line for, once again, a lead-off home run. Matt Szczur did the same exact thing in game one. Trevor Cahill pitched well on the night, but the Padres made a few key mistakes, allowing the Sox to get the win. Ryan Schimpf had a key error and Trevor Cahill recorded four wild pitches resulting in a run himself. Once again, shooting themselves in the foot.
Brad Hand took the loss after allowing a run in his inning-plus of work. Yolmer Sanchez drove in Tyler Saladino with one out, after Hand walked him to lead off the ninth. A great throw by Margot made it close at the plate, but after a challenge, the run was allowed. The Sox walked-off against the Padres, in yet another game the team should have won. A common theme with this group.
Game 3 (White Sox 9, Padres 3)
The two teams matched up on Mother’s Day in the final game of the series. Jose Quintana and Jered Weaver were on the mound for their respective clubs. Weaver pitched well in the game, going six innings, only allowing one run to score on five hits. Once again, errors were the issue, as Cory Spangenberg and Luis Sardinas each made errors and Ryan Buchter allowed four runs to score (two earned) in only one-third of an inning. Brandon Maurer was summoned to put out the fire in the eighth, but he also imploded, allowing three runs to score in only one-third of an inning.
Offensively, the hero was Hunter Renfroe, as he hit a three-run homer off Quintana in the seventh inning that put the Padres up 3-1. That should have been the game winner, but the team found another way to give away a game. The “Tank” ability of this team is amazing. Some question, though, whether this losing attitude will become habit with this young team. At what point do you value a higher draft pick over the psyche of your young team?
The Milwaukee Brewers head west to Petco Park to battle the Padres in a four-game set that starts on Monday. The Brewers are playing well this season, and will be a tough opponent for the young Friars.